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some noob questions about my new smoker

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all! Just joined, hope I put enough in my profile to help you help me with my questions. I want to mod my Char-Grill offset, but with a limited budget, I want to know what mods will produce results for my problem fastest. My biggest problem is keeping a steady 225 (which is due, in part, to how green I am with using an actual smoker). This thing leaks like a sieve and it has been about 45 degrees and windy as heck. So is it just too cold and windy for me to maintain temp? Would a chimney mod help? I plan on sealing the few extra holes with bolts and nuts first (wish I had done that right away). I have been opening the intake about 25% and leaving the chimney closed, with the intake facing away from the prevailing wind and getting out of direct winds as much as possible.

post #2 of 12

welcome1.gif to SMF.


THE CHIMNEY you want to open 100% at all times. if the smoke can"t get out that can leave a bad taste on the meat. (creosote)

want fresh smoke going across the meat .

post #3 of 12

I would control the fire with the fire box vent and leave the smokestack open.  You can cook good food from that offset so don't give up.  Don't build too big a fire -- you can always get it hotter -- very difficult to get it cooler.  I recommend a diffuser plate between the fire and food boxes and maybe a pan of water to calm things down, and get the smokestack down to the grate level.  Your idea at attempting to blocking the wind is good. 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice about the chimney jrod and bama! That makes a lot of sense, and I would have been very disappointed if I ruined my perfectly good pork loin! Almost immediately after my post I went to check and my smoker was at a nice 225 (after 3 hours of battling wind). I will definitely try the chimney mod first, since I have material and tools to do that at work. Next question: Should I be using charcoal just to get my wood smoking (hickory chunks), and then relying on the wood for both heat and smoke? Or do I use charcoal as heat and wood for smoke only? I do apologize for asking what are probably very basic questions, but I would rather ask than waste good meat and wood trying to figure it out myself. 

post #5 of 12

I would say charcoal for heat, wood for smoke.  You really don't need a lot of wood to get a great thin blue smoke.

post #6 of 12

use charcoal for the heat and wood for smoke. Don't put to much wood chunks. 1 or 2 chunks . you want a light blue smoke not white smoke.

one of the first things you need to do is build a charcoal basket for the fireBox. (if you click this ( Default )album you can see

how I use mine.) this can help get the fire higher in the firebox so more air can get under it. its easy to make.

here a link that has mods. you can do . http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/58778/char-griller-smokin-pro-with-firebox-mods

post #7 of 12

I have an offset smoker also.  I use a chimney starter to start my charcoal, then add wood chunks for flavor.  When doing a long smoke, I put the chimney starter on my weber grill to get more coals going.  If you haven't seen Jeffs videos on youtube I suggest checking them out.  Lots of great info.  Don't forget, your vents control how much heat you are producing.  No air to your heat source means less heat.  And I always keep my chimney open 80 to 100%.


Good luck!

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for the awesome advice!!! I am so glad I found this forum! I usually never join forums because when you're new it seems like all established members want to do is talk trash and degrade you for not being an expert on the given subject. This is the nicest community I have ever joined! I hope to get some good use of my new smoker so I can share pics and stories soon!

post #9 of 12

Hello - glad to have you here with us- as you can see, we have a pretty vast knowledge base so ask away 

post #10 of 12

Welcome to SMF!

post #11 of 12

Welcome ! As you browse around the Forum think you will find the information and "secrets" of some of the best smoking chefs (amateur and professional),lots of great recipes, and just good ol plain folks who you feel like you have known all your life. Everyone likes to see the pictures and the play by play !   If you are looking for advice or criticism, just ask....everyone here is here to enjoy their passion for smoking and cooking and making new friends.




post #12 of 12

welcome1.gif to SMF. You have come to the right place for smoking info. This site is loaded with great info just use the search bar at top of page to find what you are looking for. If you can't locate the answer just ask folks here are willing to share there knowledge. I suggest you take  the 5 day e-course on smoking its chuck full of great info.Smoking  5-Day e-Course 

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